Classic Coconut Cake

Posted: October 4

Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

recipe image

Delight your friends and family with a tropical homemade Classic Coconut Cake. The delicate flavor and texture of coconut combines with the heady, floral tastes of vanilla and almond for a cake that’s truly decadent. Plus, the shredded coconut topping already makes a festive decoration. This Classic Coconut Cake is a double-decker knockout.


3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
4 ounces coconut, sweetened and shredded
For the frosting:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
6 ounces coconut, sweetened and shredded, optional, for decoration


Step 1

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2

Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, then line them with parchment paper. Grease once more and dust lightly with flour.

Step 3

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed, until fluffy and light yellow.

Step 4

Crack the eggs into a small bowl.

Step 5

Reduce the mixer to medium speed, then add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl once during mixing.

Step 6

Add in the almond and vanilla extracts, mixing well.

Step 7

In a separate bowl, sift the baking powder, flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Step 8

Put the mixer on low speed, then alternately add in the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Step 9

Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula, being careful not to knock the air out of the batter.

Step 10

Evenly pour the batter into the 2 pans and gently smooth over the top with a knife.

Step 11

Bake in the center rack of the oven until the cake tester comes out clean and the tops are browned, about 45-55 minutes.

Step 12

Cool in the pans for 30 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

Step 13

While the cakes cool, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fully combine the butter, vanilla, cream cheese, and almond extract on low speed using the paddle attachment.

Step 14

Add in the confectioners' sugar and mix until just smooth (don't whip).

Step 15

To assemble the cake, place 1 layer of cake on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with the frosting.

Step 16

Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost both the sides and top.

Step 17

To decorate, sprinkle the top with coconut and gently press the coconut onto the sides.

Step 18

Serve at room temperature.

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